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1-2-3 For Singapore
2019 Putrajaya Half Marathon Swim
Fifteen days after capturing the 10km open water swimming crowns in Singapore, Singapore Sports School post-secondary swimmer Ritchie Oh Rui Zhi and alumna Chantal Liew Li-Shan repeated their feat across the Causeway at the 2019 Putrajaya Half Marathon Swim. The Putrajaya race is one leg in the six-part Malaysia Open Water Swimming Series.
Ritchie, who is in Year 1 of Diploma in Buinsess Studies programme, plunged into the waters at the Water Sports Complex in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on the morning of 21 April 2019 and emerged 1 hour 4 minutes and 39.30 seconds later as the champion in the 5km Men’s 14 to 19 years old and Overall categories. Luke Tan Yu Yang, a Year 1 swimmer in the Diploma in Sport Management programme, was hot on the heels of Ritchie – trailing Ritchie by just 3.67s. Chantal completed the race shortly after both boys to give Singapore the top three spots in the overall standings.
Despite recovering from a fever just three days prior, Ritchie led the 126-strong field of male swimmers by more than four seconds. Meanwhile, Chantal dominated in the Women’s event, stopping the clock 17:35.25s ahead of Malaysia’s Neo Hseng Zjue.
“This race was very different from the one in Singapore. In Putrajaya, we were swimming in fresh water and in a somewhat enclosed area which meant low salt content and little current as compared sea water in Changi where the Singapore Open Water Swimming Championships was held at. Sea water increased my buoyancy and I could take advantage of sea currents to push me forward,” said Ritchie.
“This was only my second competitive open water experience. Luke and I kept pace for most of the race, swimming side-by-side about 4km. However, I focused on swimming my own race. I stuck to my plan and was able to pull ahead as I switched up gears in the last 500m and end the race well.”
Ritchie and Luke were top male Singaporeans at the 2019 Singapore Open Water Swimming Championships on 6 April 2019, while Chantal and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Year 6’s Regine Goh Xuan Xuan came in 1-2 in the Women’s event.
Men’s 14-19 Years Old 5km
1st – Ritchie Oh Rui Zhi (1:04:39.30s) OVERALL CHAMPION
2nd – Luke Tan Yu Yang (1:04:42.97s)
Women’s 20-29 Years Old 5km
1st – Chantal Liew Li-Shan (1:05:20.27s)